The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Tax return files delayed during transfer

About 15 tax returns forms were delayed in April when a CSUN tax assistant program processed files through an online transfer service.

When the CSUN’s Wayne and Roberta Colmer Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program submitted tax return forms through e-file, an online service, for the first time in April, the files returned corrupted.

“Some of the files that we sent to our partners became corrupt during the online transfer,” said Donna Watkins, CSUN VITA program coordinator.

Watkins said about 15 people tax returns were delayed due to the file corruption.

One CSUN graduate student, who asked to remain anonymous, said his tax returns were lost through Broad Spectrum, which is a sponsor of Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign Partnership.

“They said I would get my taxes back in four weeks,” the student said. “When three months passed I called and they said the files were missing. They never called back after that to fix the situation. I handled it myself and filed directly with the Internal Revenue Service.”

Broad Spectrum could not be reached for comment.

Watkins said e-filing is a new way to file tax return forms. She said the IRS authorized the CSUN VITA program to use the online service.

“There were about 1,300 users from the San Fernando Valley and only 10 to 15 users had problems,” Watkins said. “That’s not bad.”

According to the IRS Web site, e-filing and paying ensures that tax information is safe and secure. In 2006, about 70 million tax returns were e-filed, 20 million of which were completed from home.

The CSUN campus VITA program partners with the outside services Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Valley Economic Development Center and Broad Spectrum to file tax return forms.

NLS and VEDC were contacted and representatives said that they are not aware of missing or corrupt files.

The CSUN VITA program, located in room JH 2111, is a community partner in the San Fernando Valley area. The program provides federal and state information to the community concerning taxpayers’ rights and responsibilities. The program also provides free tax return assistance for low-income individuals, senior citizens, non-English-speaking individuals, and the disabled.

Due to the large number of people needing assistance, the program set a $50,000 maximum gross income limitation per income tax return for those seeking help.

CSUN student volunteers assist patrons with tax filing procedures. Students must be enrolled during the spring semester, have sophomore standing, attend one training workshop in January and enroll in ACCT 498. After training, the volunteers will work for three hours per week over nine weeks at a selected site.

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